Rossendale Free Press

A little older, a little wiser... but still utterly unprepared for fatherhood


Due to my youthful exuberance, it may not be immediatel­y obvious I’m a somewhat older dad.

I say ‘somewhat’ because Mick Jagger had a child at 73 years old, but I’m not in that league. That kind of extravagan­ce is only available to those wealthy enough to afford nannies. Mick would never change a nappy at 3am.

I was a sprightly 42-year-old when the twins turned up, an age I’d once considered ‘past it’, but as it turned out the time when my life would begin.

Interestin­gly, the older I get, the less age plays a part in my decisions, possibly because it doesn’t really correlate with how I view myself.

For example, I’m always surprised when I catch a glimpse in a mirror and see a ‘slightly’ overweight middle-aged man wearing my clothes.

My brain can’t seem to factor in the last quarter of a century, so I’m stuck at 21 in my own head. And since age has never really been a factor in any decision I’ve made, possibly apart from life insurance, I decided to look at the advantages and disadvanta­ges of being an older dad.

At this point, I’d like to say one great big positive of growing old is financial security and we’re sitting pretty in a large country home, brimming with servants and fields for the twins to frolic in.

Unfortunat­ely, I’m not sure life brings that classic trajectory of money turning up as the time ticks on. All I’ve noticed is I collect more direct debits, but we have got a house, albeit with a mortgage and that’s one thing I wouldn’t have had as a youngster.

Whether or not that’s a positive is debateable because the twins are happy if they’ve got toys and a TV.


The next advantage should be maturity and a little wisdom, and this is probably true. I’m certainly more responsibl­e even if I was never actually irresponsi­ble.

The problem with this being a positive is there’s no way my brain will ever be ‘wise enough’ to cope with Thomas kicking me because he didn’t want to wear those trousers, or Emma hitting me for not giving her a biscuit. Those behaviours require a Dalai Lama mindset, which still evades me.

Thirdly, the twins have older grandparen­ts, which means they should be retired, giving them endless free time to look after the twins. The two problems with that are they’re not retired and live 150 miles away.

At least we’re not alone being older parents with increasing numbers waiting before they start a family and maybe there’s a reason for that.

The unequivoca­l truth is there’s never a right time for children and it’s always going to be hard work.

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